Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that he could only be removed by the Parliament and would accept the decision of the house.
Mr Gilani seemed confident during his speech in the National Assembly on Friday in the absence of Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who on Saturday announced that he would not let the prime minister to enter the house.
Gilani criticized Nawaz-League leadership for what he said their ego and said that Nawaz Sharif could not run the parliament as it was not an easy job.
“I challenge you to bring vote of no confidence against me if you have the courage,” Gilani said.
He said that he was punished for protecting the Constitution of Pakistan. He said that nobody other than National Assembly speaker could de-notify him.
The prime minister said that he would honour the decision of the house but would not accept conspiracies and would not let anyone to derail democracy in the country.
Gilanis said that the PML-N should look into results of Multan by-election in which the PPP won.
In our blog post last November, we discussed Pakistan’s decision to grant India most favored nation (MFN) status. We were hopeful about the gains from easier trade between the two, but noted the many stumbling blocks in between. In the past 20 weeks, both countries have made serious efforts to address these blocks. Things are looking good. Here is an update.
Both countries mean business
In addition to the goodwill gesture of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari visiting India this April and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh considering visiting Pakistan, important issues addressed include:
Pakistan issued an order in March 2012 to move from a positive list of 2,000 items for India to a negative list of 1,209 banned items. Pakistan intends to phase out the negative list altogether and formally give India MFN status by the end of 2012.
India, which formally granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996 (but maintained barriers) has agreed to reduce its sensitive list of 865 items by 30% within four months. India has also agreed in principle to allow Pakistani foreign direct investment in the country.
Both countries recently agreed to allow yearlong multiple-entry visas for business visitors, with visitors allowed to enter and exit through different cities.
The two countries have agreed to allow each other’s central banks – the Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of Pakistan – to open bank branches across borders to facilitate financial transactions and ensure smooth trade.
A second checkpost gate was inaugurated this March at the Attari-Wagah border to ease road traffic between the two countries. The checkpost, with elaborate security features and capable of accommodating 600 trucks at a time, will provide upgraded infrastructure, including new storage go-downs, wide roads, and a luxurious passenger terminal.
Opportunities and gains
Making borders irrelevant can have far-reaching effects for economic prosperity across sectors in Pakistan and India. Consider a key driver of growth: electricity. South Asia’s recent More and Better Jobs flagship report estimated that industrial load shedding in Pakistan has resulted in the loss of 400,000 jobs. Trade between energy surplus and deficit regions could counter such losses — indeed, Pakistan is already in negotiations with India to import up to 500 MW of electricity.